Jeff Brown is a former lawyer turned author (Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation) and filmmaker. His debut film, Karmageddon, is a personal examination of the spiritual journey featuring 1960s counter-culture icon and chanter Bhagavan Das. Bhagavan Das came to fame in the best-selling book “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass, the Harvard professor fired with Timothy Leary for their LSD experiments in the 1960s.
Karmageddon traverses all manner of interactive terrain: shadow and light, heart and soul, psychological and spiritual, the sacred and the profane.
For example, during the film Jeff is very critical of Bhagavan Das’s ethical and sexual decisions and even asks Ram Dass:
“Does how he (Bhagavan Das) behave in his personal life really matter?”
Ram Dass answers emphatically: “Yes it matters…you have to be able to justify your actions on every plane.”
During the film, Jeff does not shy away from expressing his own anger at Bhagavan’s behavior, especially in regards to women and even how Bhagavan Das treats Jeff’s girlfriend. This film really is a refreshing look at how to respond to a guru, teacher or any person we have trusted who has wronged us. It also shows us how to integrate spiritual and psychological teachings into our daily lives in a practical way that can help us deal with childhood traumas, unexpressed emotions and our pain. For example, this film helped me realize that is okay for me to feel angry, upset and hurt at times; and that by expressing those emotions in a healthy manner, I can work through them and grow from them. It also reminded me of the importance of creating congruence, authenticity and integrity in all parts of my life including my psychological and personal life…
I recently had a chance to interview Jeff about Karmageddon. I asked Jeff why he asked Ram Dass about whether the way Bhagavan Das behaves in his personal life matters; and how Jeff would answer the question if someone asked him. The rest of our interview covers much more psychological, spiritual, and personal questions. For instance, during our conversation Jeff answered many questions that most spiritual and self-improvement authors avoid talking about such as:
1. Must there be congruity between the teachings and the teacher’s personal life?
2. How can we bridge the quest for essence and unity consciousness fundamental to certain eastern traditions, with the quest for a healthy self-concept intrinsic to the western psychotherapeutic revolution?
3. How can we honor and express justified anger, without doing more damage?
4. What is the relationship between emotional and spiritual health?
Jeff’s answer to each question reveal an honesty about himself that show *us* it is okay to feel and be human while we pursue our path and callings in life.
You can listen to our interview by downloading an MP3 of our interview by ‘right clicking’ on the text that says DOWNLOAD MP3 of INTERVIEW.
Thank GAWD that movies like this are being made. I have watched these faux gurus do spiritual and psychological damage for 45 years in the west. It breaks my heart that they get away with it. Please continue to help people to have real insight into these faux faux gurus.
Also…I no longer have respect for Deva Premal and Mitten after they refused to answer my questions about their credentials for workshops, teachings etc., they offer on Tantra. EVERY authentic spiritual teacher must be not only able to ask these questions, they should expect and encourage such questions. AND students MUST ask. If the teacher does not or refuses to answer…then that is a warning sign they are not authentic or they do not have appropriate permission to teach such things. DID any one ask Bhagavan Das these questions??? People beware.